Cops think gunman fled to Chon Buri
The robber who killed three people and injured four others during a gold shop heist in Lop Buri last week is believed to have fled to Chon Buri, according to a police source.
The possibility was raised after army chief Apirat Kongsompong met with the chiefs of Provincial Police Regions 1 and 2 at the First Army Region headquarters in Bangkok on Monday. Chon Buri province falls under the jurisdiction of Provincial Police Region 2.
While no confirmed details about the crime and the perpetrator have emerged since the slayings took place on Jan 9, several reports speculate that the killer may be a former military officer. To date, authorities have not ruled out the possibility.
Pol Maj Gen Natthaphon Supharason, Lop Buri police chief, said officers are working around the clock but are still unable to confirm whether the perpetrator left Lop Buri after the Aurora Gold Shop robbery in Robinson Department Store.
"Investigators have extended their hunt to cover nearby provinces, including Saraburi, Ang Thong and Chai Nat," he said. They are also studying patterns of gold shop robberies nationwide, hoping to get information that will lead to an arrest.
"We've made some progress, but it will take time to obtain further clues," Pol Maj Gen Natthaphon said.
He also asked the public to check cameras installed in their cars, which might have caught sight of the suspect and the getaway vehicle -- identified as a white-red Yamaha Fino.
The man escaped on a motorcycle after making off with gold weighing 28.5 baht valued at about 635,000 baht and killing three people, including a two-year-old boy. In total, the gunman fired 13 shots, according to investigators.
According to Ekthawip Khongkhawari, who had earlier been mistaken as a possible suspect, said thieves usually only want valuables and try to avoid killing or injuring others.
Ekthawip, who completed a seven-year jail term last year for robbing a gold shop in 2013, made the comment as he filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division against people who claimed he was connected to the Lop Buri heist.